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Word Roots: C

Camel or Gamma (矛 – 工具🔧)

a hunter’s stick or boomerang

  • 缺口: Noun. cuff, cup, chin, cap, clam, cove, cave, cavern, canyon; chassis, cart; Verb: chap, chop, cut;
  • 手抓:Noun. cat, claw, crab; Verb. catch, crib, crawl, creep,
  • 拍手:clap; cuff (slap)
  • 张嘴:cry, chant, cough, curse, cite, charm, recite, chord, chorus
  1. hand/body used as a tool:  take, seize, sift -> put away
  2. mouth used as a tool: cant, accent, cry
  3. brain used as a tool: learn, know, understand: discern
  4. heart / mind used as a tool:  feel, guilty

Note: boomerang: bounce back, recoil, backfire

  • misleading consumers about quality will eventually boomerang on a carmaker. 

co 联合: copy, cozy, clot, cork, corp, condo

con 更加紧密联合:concur, connect, conquer, confit, concord, confirm, consist, conference, constitution

confer: 1) grant or bestow; 2) exchange opinions, 

congru: congruent

car: wagon, cart

carrier, carpool, carjacking, carriage, cargo, caricature


cave, concave, cavity, cavernous, excavate

circum-: around, about

  • circumscribe = around + write / draw a line
  • circumstantial: prove sth indirectly 
  • circumvent,  circumspect, circumlocution, 

circ: ring

  • circular, circle, circulate, circuitous, circuit, circuitry,
  • circularity (circularism)

cycl: circle, wheel

cyclone, Cyclops, encyclopedia

croc: hook

  • encroach, crotchety (irritable)

corn: corner

cornerstone, cornucopia, catercorner, cornea, Capricorn


  • clef, clavier, clavichord,
  • clavicle (collarbone);
  • enclave, conclave

clin: inclination

cli, -cline – tilt  
incline n.
recline v. 
acclivity n. 
declivity n. 
proclivity n. 
cliff n. 

cliv: proclivity

clud: include, seclude, occlude, reclude

clus: seclusion, recluse, cloister, 

cult: culture, cultivate, horticulture

cru = cross

cruise crucial crusade

a crusade against official corruption

  • crux

    The crux of a problem or argument is the most important or difficult part of it that affects everything else.

  • excruciating

    An injury that is excruciating is extremely painful.

  • cross

    travel across or pass over

  • crossfire

    a lively or heated interchange of ideas and opinions

  • cruciate

    shaped like a cross

suicide, parricide, regicide, mariticide, uxoricidefratricide,sororicide,

avicide, pesticide, fungicide, germicide, herbicide, insecticide,  vermicide,  rodenticide

cis: cut

concise, incise (cut with S), excise, precise,  exorcist, decide, scissors

cid: fall, 残缺 accident 

  • recidivism, Occident, 

cit: incite (cut with T), resuscitate (rescue, revive)

cas/cad: fall, 残缺

  • decay,
  • cadence,
  • decadent (corrupt), decadence,
  • cascade,
  • cadaver (corpse), cadaverous
  • casual, case, occasion


  • calligraphy, calisthenics
  • nonchalant, calorie, caloric,
  • scald (burn) (钻木取火), chafe,
  • chauffeur,
  • cauldron, chowder


capable, incapacitate, capacity = take (容量), capacious, capsule, encapsulate


receive = back + take = 收到

deceive = de + ceive = off, from + take

deceive: (of a person) cause (someone) to believe something that is not true, typically in order to gain some personal advantage.

deceive: (of a thing) give a mistaken impression.

deceive: fail to admit to oneself that something is true.

Deceive: be sexually unfaithful to (one’s regular partner).

conceive = for a woman to get preganent, she needs a man. For a person to come up with an idea, he must have incorporated others’ ideas. = to form a concept or image or idea.

perceive, undeceive, misconceive, conceivable, preconceive, inconceivable

preconceived: (of an idea or opinion) formed before having the evidence for its truth or usefulness. 先入为主

incipient = in + cip = begin to happen

anticipate = ante /anti + cip = before + take = 预期

emancipate (set free) = e (out) + man (hand) + cip (seize) + ate

participate, participle, principal, participatory, municipal, disciple, discipline, disciplinarian, recipe, recipient

chas: purchase, chase

cup: occupy, recuperate (recover, convalesce, regain one’s strength)

coc: cook, ripen

concoct, decoct, precocious

crat: rule

  • aristocrat, autocrat, technocrat, bureaucrat, plutocrat

cogn / conn: learn, know

  • cognoscenti, cognoscente (expert), incognito, cognizant, 
  • connoisseur (pundit, gourmet, epicure, gastronome), connoisseurship
  • reconnoiter, reconnaissance (military survey), 

commod: commodity

  • commode, commodious (capacious, roomy), incommodious
  • accommodation, accommodate, unaccommodating


cumber, encumber, incumber (constrain), incumbent, recumbent, succumb, 

cond: put

  • ensconce (settle, curl up)
  • condiment, 
  • recondite (cryptic, obscure, complex),
  • abscond (escape, decamp),

cover: curfew (cover fire), covert, covertly 

crypt (script – code): cryptogram, cryptography, encrypt, apocryphal (fictitious), grotesque facial distortions

ciph: cipher (code), decipher, encipher, decipherable, indecipherable

coup: recoup, countercoup, coupon

culp: culprit culpable (censurable), exculpate, inculpable

  • capture, captor, captivity, captivate, captivating,
  • recuperate = recover or regain
    captious = of a person tending to find faults or petty objections

accept = to + be taken = 接受

concept = con + cept = something that is taken by people together

precept = pre + cept = before + taken = a general rule

susceptible, exception, exceptional, conceptualize, inception

contraception = contra + cept

intercept = inter + cept = between + taken = 抄截 (在中间拿取);

incept = in + take = obtain a degree from a university

cand: candle (钻木取火), candid, candor, 

  • incendiary (combustible), candelabrum, incandescent, 
  • candidate, candidacy, candidature

cant, cent: sing

  • cant, recant, incantation 
  • accent, accentuate, incentive


castigate, chastise, chaste, chasten (deflate), 

cit: open mouth, moved, stirred up;

cite (quote), incite, recite, recital, excite, solicit, resuscitate

clam: shout

clamor (din, commotion, babel), claim, acclaim, disclaim (deny), declaim, exclaim, declamation, reclaim, proclaim, exclamation

clar, clair

declare, clarify, clarinet, clarion, clairvoyant


accuse, cause, excuse, recuse, recusant

cuss: repeatedly strike

discuss, concuss, percussion, repercussion


  • comic, comical, comedy, comedian, comedienne, encomium, comedic
  • sitcom, tragiccomedy

commun: communicate; community

  • commune, communal, communion


  • conciliate, reconcile

cry: decry (denounce, carp at, condemn, censure), outcry

cyn: cynic, cynical, cynicism, cynosure

crit: judge

critic, criticize, critique, diacritic, hypocritical

crimin: judgment

criminal, incriminate (accuse), recriminate, discriminate

  • concern, unconcerned
  • discern = dis + cern = sift apart: notice, detect, or understand something after thinking about it carefully or studying it for some time. 
  • discernible, discernment, indiscernible

cret: sift, discern, separate

  • indiscreet: lack of judgment, especially someone say or do things in public that should only be said or done privately – if at all.
  • indiscretion
  • discretion: freedom to act or judge on one’s own
  • discretionary
  • secret
  • secretive
  • secretion: the organic process of synthesizing and releasing some substance
  • secretary
  • excrete: eliminate from the body
  • excrement: things that the body discharges
  • excretion: action that the body processes the waste

cred: credit

  • credo, credulity, credulous (gullible, naive), credence, credentials, 
  • accredit, discredit

cret: grow

  • concrete: cover with cement
  • concretion
  • concretize
  • accretion
  • accrete


crescent, accrue, crescendo, decrescendo, excrescence (tumor, lump, protuberance)

  • decrepit = de + crep + it  = not + take (feeble, doddering, tottering, debilitated, incapacitated)
  • decrepitude
  • discrepant = dis + crep + ant = away / different + take 
  • discrepancy

caustic, causterize, holocaust

  • cure
  • curate: a person authorized to conduct religious worship
  • curator: the custodian of a collection (as a museum or library)
  • curative
  • curio: a rare, unusual, intriguing object
  • curious
  • accuracy, inaccuracy
  • secure, security, insecure, insecurity
  • sinecure: a paid job that provides a regular income but does not involve much work or responsibility
    • Similar: easy job, soft option, cushy number, money for old rope, money for jam, picnic, doddle, walk in the park, cinch, gravy train, bludge
  • procure = pro + cur = before + attention = obtain sth with effort
  • pedicure
  • manicure

access, accession (~ to the throne), make concession to, secede (withdraw from), accede, recede, cede (concede, surrender), intercede. 

curs: cursory

precursor, excursion, cursive, discursive (meandering, circumlocutory), excursive (digressive), cursor, incursion (invasion). 

capit, chiev: head

  • chapter
  • capital: first-rate, most important or serious
  • capitalism
  • capitulate, capitulation
    cease to resist an opponent or an unwelcome demand; surrender.
    “the patriots had to capitulate to the enemy forces”
  • recapitulate:
    summarize and state again the main points of.
    “he began to recapitulate his argument with care”
  • recapitulation
  • captain
  • capitalize: take the chance to gain advantage from.
  • capitol
  • caprice
    a sudden and unaccountable change of mood or behavior.
    “the caprices of the electorate”
  • decapitate
  • precipitate = pre + cipit + ate
    cause (an event or situation, typically one that is bad or undesirable) to happen suddenly, unexpectedly, or prematurely.
    “the incident precipitated a political crisis”
  • precipitous
    dangerously high or steep.
    “the precipitous cliffs of the North Atlantic coast”
  • precipitation  1. 沉淀 2. 降水 3. 凝结
  • ==
  • achieve
  • mischievous


coronary  thrombosis, cornea, 

carn: meat

carnival, carnal, carnage, reincarnation, charnel, carrion, crone, carnation, incarnadine

kill, execute, slaughter, massacre, assassinate

caval: horse;

cavalry, chivalry, cavalier, cavalcade, cavalrymen

chol: bile, gall

cholera, choler, cholesterol, choleric, melancholy, melancholia

chrom: color

chromatic, monochrome, achromatic, chromsome

cord / card: heart, cordially

  • accord, accordance (conformity or agreement),
  • concord, concordance,
  • discord, discordant, accordingly, accordion, record, cordiality
  • cardiogram, cardiovascular, cardioversion, 

corp: corpse

  • corpus,
  • corporal, corps
  • corporeal, corpulent,
  • corporate, incorporate

cosm: cosmic

cosmopolitan, cosmography, microcosm, macrocosm, cosmos, cosmonaut, cosmology

chron: time


clemenc: climate

  • clement, inclement
  • climax, clime

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